Films | The Dark Knight Rises – Movie Review

The Dark Knight Rises – Movie Review

Posted by barkha on July 20, 2012 | No Comments

PRODUCER – Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Jordan Goldberg (co-producer)
DIRECTOR – Christopher Nolan
WRITER – Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan (screenplay), Christopher Nolan & David S. Goyer (story), Bob Kane (Batman characters)
CAST – Christian Bale, Marion Cotilard, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine
MUSIC – Hans Zimmer

The Dark Knight has risen out of the dark shadows of a hurt past into a present teetering on the edge of destruction.  Gotham city is under siege and the perpetrator Bane is on a civil war-like rampage to execute all that is good in the city. Gordon is the first victim, indisposed and Batman is in exile. Who will Gotham look upto to save itself?

With just two films in the series, Christopher Nolan has made the Batman franchise his own legacy. He has redefined not only the superhero character but the genre itself, into more than visceral thrills and dreamy idealism. In The Dark Knight Rises he uses the past and borrows from it incessantly, bringing together the previous two films in a delicious sense of continuity. The sense of doom and the danger upon which the existence of Gotham hangs palpates through the entire film like a throbbing nerve about to explode, the tone that has informed the world of his previous two films as well.

But it has too many people. The Dark Knight, as Nolan reinvented it wasn’t a one-man show but  populating TDKR with one villain too many, one friend too many, one cohort too many spreads it too thin for the intensity and tautness we have come to expect from Nolan’s style of cinema. The character of Gotham and the goodness Gordon and Batman strive to safeguard becomes a mere extension of the previous film, where it subsumed the atmosphere with a deep, intense sub-text that defined it for us. In The Dark Knight Rises, it is heroism that takes centre-stage, a heroism that Batman, the most human vigilante superhero wears with an exquisite vulnerability. A vulnerability that probably only Christian Bale can execute because it is his rawness that gives the film its edginess. With the usual suspects Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman he brings us an adulterated superhero entertainer. New additions Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, Marion Cotilard as Miranda and Joseph Gordon Levitt as young Detective Blake come together to give the film some more edge, although their inclusion turns the film more into a merry star-studded event than a crisp and intense film.

As a cinematic experience, The Dark Knight Rises is both visually and aurally breath-taking. Sweeping aerial shots and city-line CGs impress largesse upon the film that suits the cult status the franchise has attained. The haunting and enveloping background score rides the trough and crests of the film with passion. The film explodes in visual glory and cinematic spectacle, be it in action or destruction, at every turn and for a superhero film it is as visceral as it gets. And turns it has many. Just like its characters and their motivations. There are revelations that keep us gripped and bound with excitement and there are plot twists that do not seem like convenient cop-outs but then that is hardly what we expect out of Nolan.

Yet, despite a neat sub-plotting of characters and a dynamic story telling, The Dark Knight Rises remains but a stunning example of only an immensely enjoyable superhero film. It lacks the brilliance of originality, ingenuity and inventiveness that Christopher Nolan has exhibited in every film of his, beginning from his student film Doodlebug, to his indie ‘The Following’ all the way upto the multi-million ‘Inception’. The Dark Knight Rises but just not enough. We will but wait for the next time.

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